MarTech and AdTech News Headlines Update on November 10, 2021

Cyber security content isn’t dull

It might be a corporate space, but cybersecurity brands are producing content that truly stands out. As more of our daily life moves online, cybercrime, ransomware and other hacking attacks become a larger issue. Generally, the message from cybersecurity providers is the same: “We will protect your business and personal data from cybercriminals.”

While it’s truthful, it’s not memorable. One way they can differentiate themselves is through creativity. At the moment, cybersecurity videos are pushing the boundaries of branded content.

What are they doing?

We took a look at the latest content efforts by ExtraHop, Akamai, HP Wolf Security, Norton and even some animation we did for Cisco. For anyone who’s not an IT expert, cybersecurity is an abstract concept. As a result, many of these brands use metaphors like an office lobby or goalkeeper to explain what they do. Some go for the blockbuster approach with big-name actors, some use humour or employ a documentary format. The one thing they all have in common is engagement.

What’s fuelling this creativity?

These videos are emerging in a very corporate and risk-averse space, vying for the attention of a small audience. CIOs and CSOs are the most sought-after leads in the world, and you have to cut through the dozen or more pitches they get in their inbox every day. What better way to win them over than with some creativity?

Large scale hacks making headlines regularly — Sony and Target for example — and the ways cybercriminals find breaches is becoming more complex too. As hackers get craftier, targeting new points of entry, it makes sense for cybersecurity companies to be smarter not just in their solutions, but in the way they market themselves to their audience.

Facebook is now called Meta

In Case You Live Under a Rock, Facebook Changed its Name to Meta

The Story

Facebook has changed their name to Meta.

What is the metaverse?

Remember the early days of the internet when everything was in “cyberspace?” This is the same idea as the metaverse. The term metaverse aims to explain a cultural shift where brands, creators, and developers will create new experiences and items that change the digital world. In layman’s terms, the emergence and overlap of technologies such as crypto, NFTs, online gaming, AR, VR — you name it.

Mark Zuckerberg stated that the metaverse will “unlock a massively larger creative economy than the one constrained by today’s platforms and their policies.”

So, then what is Meta?

Meta is the new name for the parent company that owns apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. The platform Facebook, and all of its sister apps, generate more than $86 billion in annual revenue and serve more than 3.5 billion people worldwide. Zuckerberg hopes that this new name will help propel the company towards a future of AR and VR products. The New York Times reported that leaked internal documents show plans for brick and mortar Facebook stores with intent to sell VR headsets, AR glasses, Portal devices and more.

In Zuckerberg’s 81-minute announcement of the name change, he invited a special guest to chat with: an avatar version of himself. Zuckerberg explained how Meta aims to spend billions of dollars over the next decade basically creating this virtual world.

STC POV

It’s no surprise that the sneak peak into the metaverse and name change to Meta came with a wide array of reactions. Some think this name change is a step in the right direction, better yet, towards the future. Others feel this is a failed attempt at distracting users from the bad press that Facebook has been getting lately.

Let’s break down these POVs to see both sides of the same coin:

Positive POVs

  • This name change allows the company to compartmentalize aspects holding it back so it can reset and try new things.
  • Placing Zuckerberg at the helm of a new corporate identity gives each sub-brand greater freedom and autonomy to have their own culture, politics and leadership.
  • A few years ago no one thought we’d have a mini computer in our pockets — this is simply one more step towards the exciting future of tech.

Negative POVs

  • “At the heart of the ‘Meta’ rebrand is still a social platform of misinformation and society ills.”
  • With all the privacy concerns around Facebook already, these new technologies will create a privacy minefield.
  • One writer stated, “I’m skeptical that Facebook — a lumbering bureaucracy whose biggest breakthroughs in the past decade have mostly come by buying competing apps or copying their features, rather than developing its own ideas internally — will create an immersive digital universe that people actually want to spend time in.”
  • Facebook’s reputation is permanently damaged and anything the company does, even under a new name, is tainted by association.

Pinterest is losing MAUs but gaining revenue

Pinterest Users are Dropping

The Story

Pinterest loses 10 million monthly active users after reporting a loss of 24 million MAU the quarter prior.

The interesting part

Although Pinterest is actively losing MAUs quarter over quarter (QoQ), revenue and stock prices are up. How? The platform is generating higher revenue per user. Thanks to a strong focus on shopping capabilities, Pinners are engaging with shopping surfaces at a rate up more than 20% QoQ and up 60% YoY. Last quarter, Pinterest saw an average revenue of $5.55 per U.S. user. With 444 million monthly active users, you can’t deny the potential of this platform.

The concern

The numbers don’t lie – if Pinterest can drive these kinds of sales while losing MAUs, then they should be fine, right? Well, if their users keep dropping, it becomes riskier for advertisers to put their paid efforts towards Pinterest. As COVID restrictions continue to ease, many worry the effect this will have on Pinterest since the platform saw such immense growth during lockdown.

STC POV

What sets Pinterest apart is its focus on shopping, as opposed to social engagement. This alone provides the platform with more opportunities to maximize its current user base and drive a stronger response compared to other platforms. Pinterest also has a secret weapon: Gen Z! Pinterest reported that searches on the Shop tab by Gen Z Pinners have increased over 200% YoY. With the growing support of Gen Z and a focus on shopping, we think Pinterest is a viable social commerce platform.

Instagram allows all users to have shoppable stories

Instagram Expands Links in Stories to All Users

The Story

Links in Stories are now available for all users regardless of follower count or verification status.

Why should I care?

Allowing all users to put links in their stories allows for endless opportunities to monetize and drive sales. Furthermore, this feature can be used to share an item with your family, drive donations to a charity, or bring awareness to a cause of your choosing. This feature was previously only available to those with verified or with over 10,000 followers.

Driving more engagement

Instagram has also added Add Yours stickers that create a public thread within Stories. This feature allows for someone to post a custom prompt that users can respond to in their stories. This thread can be a hashtag, a theme, or simply an excuse to post dog photos.

STC POV

Stories have proven to be a strong driver of engagement so it’s no wonder why Instagram is capitalizing on the feature. Stories allowing for more customization and creativity, mixed with their time sensitive nature, has caused many users to favor them over in-feed posts. We are excited to see Instagram finding new ways to utilize stories to drive not just engagement, but also sales.

Facebook advertising: Alternatives?

With Facebook’s stranglehold on digital advertising, will there ever be another viable option for marketers? With 2.85 billion monthly active users, the social platform has been the default go-to for advertisers. However, recent events, from the outage to the whistleblower testimony in congress, have put a dent in the platform’s lustre.

It’s been claimed the company turns a blind eye to hateful content and misinformation to maximise profits. So, what are other digital advertising options?

  • TikTok: BMW and Ralph Lauren have given it a try. As well as traditional in-feed display ads, add-ons include branded stickers, filters, hashtag challenges, and more.
  • Reddit: an online-based community forum that appears to cover every topic imaginable. Reddit Ads are in its infancy but it’s definitely an untapped market.
  • Twitter: The ability to promote tweets targets the right audience via hashtags and trending topics.
  • LinkedIn: highly targetable and can be very important for those in the B2B marketing space.
  • Google: Search has been making a comeback, as have display ads, which can be purchased inside content streams.
  • Quora: The world’s largest Q&A platform. Works similarly to search with your ad appearing below the question it’s related to.

Look at credible online publications

Align your advertising campaigns with reputable publications, such as The New York Times or The Washington Post. It needn’t be a global news brand either. We tend to think advertising across digital media is going to make a comeback.

Streaming services

While Netflix and Disney+ have no advertisements, HBO Max and Amazon Prime do, specifically for their lower-tier subscription. The same applies for Asian streaming service Viu; ads even appear during scenes. Another approach is to sponsor a particular programme, where brands are integrated.

Don’t forget YouTube

With more than two billion users, there’s a big potential audience. Usually, the ad is placed at the beginning, middle, or end of the video. For the duration, it can run from five seconds (non-skippable) to six minutes (skippable). The targeting is great, and YouTube is increasingly becoming a big-screen, sit-back-and-watch experience, the type of environment advertisers love.

Interesting Marketing Video and Report

Everyone who’s been working from home during the pandemic has experienced this. Humour is the only way to get through it.

Beautifully animated and coloured Shopee has flipped its usual marketing strategy with something a bit more heartfelt.

With an obvious dig at its competitors, Apple showcases privacy as its market differentiator.

Don’t let the simple black and white animation fool you, this is the most comprehensive video about hybrid working we’ve seen.

With a mix of 2D and 3D animation, Firefox proves that all you need is 30-seconds to get your message across.

The New York Times shows how B2B case studies could be done with a mix of voice over, stock footage, motion graphics and short powerful grabs from talent.